Fishing Report for Week Ending September 26, 2011

Fishing Report for Week Ending September 26, 2011


OVERVIEW Salmon fishing has been SPOTTY. There still is a mix of salmon, mostly feeder (winter) springs, a few mature springs and increasing amounts of chum and coho in local waters. Most of the mature salmon are entering the rivers or holding near the river mouths. Sockeye and halibut are now CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

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Sooke Salmon fishing has SLOWED DOWN. Anglers are still mostly catching a mixture of feeder springs and coho (both hatchery and wild). Most anglers looking for big springs are trolling near the Harbour entrance returning to the Sooke River. A 40 lb spring was caught last Monday, so there are still some big ones around. Secretary Island to the Otter Point is the area in which to concentrate your fishing effort. We’re also hearing of boats getting skunked. Anchovies have been working best in Purple Haze, UV Green or Bloody Nose teaser heads. Hootchies and squirts were good in Purple Haze, Glow Below and Electric Chair. The best flasher has been the Silver Betsey and Gold Fever Hot Spot. Mongoose Coyote spoons also work well.

Becher Bay – Salmon fishing has been SPOTTY over the past week. Anglers are catching a few springs up to 21 lbs, Coho (mostly wild) and a few chum and pink salmon. The Head and the Bedfords have been the best spots for springs. The majority of anglers fishing for springs are now using bait, with anchovies being most popular. The coho have been caught both in the deep water (600+ feet) of the strait and close in towards shore (200 ft).The best teaser heads for bait were the Purple Haze, UV Green and the Bloody Nose. The best flashers have been the Silver Betsey, Gold Fever Hot Spot and Purple Haze. Hootchies and squirts were good in Glow Below, Purple Haze and Electric Chair. Cop Car or Green/Silver Coyote spoons have also been good for springs.

Pedder Bay – Salmon fishing was has VERY QUIET this past week. The number of pink salmon around has really dropped and only a few hatchery Coho were taken near here. Those anglers targeting the pinks and coho are finding the best fishing out at the third tide line in the strait. Anglers were catching some springs near Church Rock and in Whirl Bay, but not too many of them, and mostly feeder springs at that. Not much action came from inside the bay. Bloody Nose and Purple Haze teaser heads have been the most popular when using bait and the best flashers have been the Silver Betsey and Purple Haze. Hootchies and squirts were good in Purple Haze, Electric Chair and Lemon Meringue. Cop Car or Green/Silver Coyote spoons have also worked for springs.

Victoria Waterfront – Salmon fishing was SLOW for mature fish this past week. Constance Bank still has a bunch of undersized to 12 lb feeder springs, but most anglers are staying away from them, preferring to let them grow to adulthood. Along the waterfront it was very slow for springs up to 12 lbs. Anglers are anxiously waiting for the coho to appear. The best teaser head colors are UV Green and the Bloody Nose. Many anglers though are fishing squirts and spoons with good success. Good choices in plastic baits are the Electric Chair, Purple Haze and the Glo Below. Good flashers have been the Green/Glow and Green/Silver Hot Spots.


Oak Bay Salmon fishing has been SLOW on the Flats. Anglers were catching springs up to 12 lbs while fishing close to the bottom. Most of the fish being caught recently are feeder springs. The best bet for springs is trolling right on bottom in 60 to 120 feet of water with squirts, Baitrix tiny strip, small anchovy or Coho Killer spoons. Good squirts were the Electric Chair, Pickle Green, J-79 and Jellyfish. With spoons, 3½” or 4” Gypsy, Titans, and Coyotes in Cop Car or Silver/Green colors and the Gold Star Coho Killer. Glow in the dark flashers would be the best choice for springs now. Also, jigging can be productive as there are lots of areas with good bottom structure that hold salmon. Gibbs Minnows are a good choice when fishing these spots.

Sidney – Salmon fishing has SLOWED DOWN around the Pender Bluffs. There have been a lot of just undersize springs in the Sidney Channel. Some larger fish have been near Saanichton Spit where a 12 lb spring was caught. Many anglers have been fishing for springs using anchovies in Bloody Nose, Purple Haze and UV Green teaser heads. Hootchies have been out producing squirts recently and the hot patterns for springs now are Army Truck, Glow Below and Electric Chair. Mongoose Coyote spoons have also been working well.


Notable Catches – If you have any fishing info, notable catches, digital photos or tips that you would like to share or have included in our fishing report, please email us at Also, check out our blog and facebook page for links to recent videos and reports from our staff.


OVERVIEW – Fishing is FAIR TO GOOD on the local lakes for trout and bass. The mornings and evenings have been the best while it’s been slow in the middle of the day.
Cowichan River – The water level on the Cowichan River has increased to 0.6 meters from summer lows in the last 24 hours. There are salmon in the river now so it’s a good time to start fishing egg patterns for trout hanging just below the salmon redds. Try fishing small nymphs, egg patterns and/or streamer patterns for the Rainbows and Browns. Early in the morning or late in evening would be the best times for trout fishing the river. Nymphs are good flies to use all year round, especially Prince, Caddis, and Mayfly nymphs. Wooly Buggers work well for brown trout, as do Bunny Leeches and Zonkers. Remember that it’s barbless hooks only and there is a bait ban on the river. Look for a fishing closure below Marie Canyon soon.

Local LakesTrout fishing is FAIR TO GOOD on most lakes in the South Island area. The biggest trout continue to be caught at Elk Lake with Langford Lake being your next best bet to hook into a real “lunker”.

Many anglers are catching trout near the bottom on either Powerbait Gulp eggs, or worms. Fly anglers are mostly using chironomids, Wooly Buggers or leech pattern flies. Trollers have been doing OK with a variety of lures. The Rhys Davis Baitrix Trout lures and UV Mini Strip Teasers work well for larger fish. Other good trolling lures are the Apex Trout Killers with the police car one of the best and the black with silver glitter spots taking second place. Flatfish and/or Kwikfish have also been effective in sizes 5 to 7 in Frog, Yellow with Red Spots or Blue/Silver. Smaller Rapalas in Rainbow Trout or Brown Trout patterns also work well. Lastly, Willow Leaf Lake trolls with a worm-tipped GIBBS Wedding Band will almost always catch some fish. By the way, all wild rainbows and cutthroats over 50 cm must be released in Cowichan Lake.

Bass Fishing - Bass fishing was GOOD this past week. Anglers have been having good luck with spinnerbaits fished near shore in the mornings and evenings. Top water plugs are working when fished near structure and the shoreline. Langford Lake, Shawnigan Lake, Prospect Lake and Elk and Beaver Lakes are the best local bass lakes. St. Mary’s Lake on Salt Spring Island is also a great lake for bass fishing.

Notable CatchesIf you have any fishing info, notable catches, digital photos (please send as attachments) or tips that you would like to share or have included in our fishing report, please email us at Also, check out our blog and facebook page for links to recent videos and reports from our staff.




Lots of anglers are now targeting hatchery coho as the fish of choice. Be sure to increase your trolling speed, shorten your leaders and fish shallower if you want to get in on the coho action. Coho feed much closer to the surface and like a much faster moving lure than Chinook. And for some real excitement, try trolling bucktail flies right on the surface in the wake of the boat.


Island Outfitters Leader Board – 2011


1)    231.4 lbs – Terry Zarelli – Race Rocks area – Octopus- March 25th

2)    194.4 lbs – Al Crow – Sooke – Salmon Head – May 14th

3)    127.5 lbs – Reg Day – Sidney – June 26th

4)    124.6 lbs – Todd Steen – Sidney – May 27th

5) 101.9 lbs – Reg Day – Sidney – June 27th 



     1) 47.1 lbs – Ian Robinson – Port Renfrew – Anchovy – July 29th  

     2) 40.0 lbs – Dave Stubbs – Constance Bank – Hootchy – August 20th

     3) 36.4 lbs – Brandon Salter – Waterfront – Anchovy – August 7th

     4) 33.0 lbs – Bill Campbell – Trap Shack – Anchovy – July 5tth

     5) 32.8 lbs – Joe Zammit – Trap shack – Anchovy – July 16th


Island Outfitters starts and ends the year with the free for fun and prizes Salmon and Halibut Leader Board. Simply weigh your catch in at Island Outfitters and the top five fish in each category on December 31st wins a special prize. Everybody who enters a fish gets a prize! Maybe it will be you bringing in the big one!  Please let us know as early as possible about your up coming events in 2011!

 See our event pages for upcoming events!